The witness of Samuel's Faith - Part 6:
Our last study ended with Israel rejecting God as their ruler and protector because they wanted a king like other nations around them: "And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." - 1 Samuel 8:77 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
. But in spite of Israel's rejection God continued to work in their affairs through Samuel, His chosen prophet, priest and judge, by elevating and making known Saul, the kind of man they wanted as king. He was from the small tribe of Benjamin but he stood a head taller than any other Israelite and was handsome so he looked the part and was literally looked up to, 1 Samuel 9:1 & 21 Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.
2 And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.
. He was the kind of man people would vote for today, a combination of John Wayne and Ronald Reagan.
God facilitated and prepared Saul for his ascension to the throne through a series of circumstances that began with him going out to search for his father's lost donkeys. The Lord spoke to Samuel and told him what he was to do concerning Saul and that he would be used to save Israel from the Philistines. God arranged for a meeting between Samuel and Saul; He anointed Saul as Israel's king, 1 Samuel 9:3 - 10:5, and promised that His Spirit would come upon Saul and transform him to a man with the mental capabilities to rule. Saul was immediately given the gift of prophecy, 1 Samuel 10:6 - 106 And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
7 And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee.
8 And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do.
9 And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.
10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
, so that when people who knew him subsequently saw him they wondered at how he had changed, 1 Samuel 10:11 - 1311 And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?
12 And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?
13 And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.
After their meeting neither Samuel nor Saul let anyone know that Saul was to be king, 1 Samuel 10:1616 And Saul said unto his uncle, He told us plainly that the asses were found. But of the matter of the kingdom, whereof Samuel spake, he told him not.
. Samuel called the tribes of Israel together and reminded them about all God had done for them by saving them out of Egypt and bringing them into their promised land but now they had rejected God by wanting a king to rule over them, 1 Samuel 10:17 - 1917 And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpeh;
18 And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you:
19 And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.
. Then lots were cast to choose a king, which fell first on the tribe of Benjamin, then on Saul's family and finally on Saul himself. But Saul was so unaffected and humble at that time he hid himself in his household so people had to search him out. When he finally came out he made a grand appearance, standing head and shoulders above all others. Samuel proclaimed that the Lord had chosen him as king and Israel recognized and acclaimed him as such by spontaneously shouting "God save the king," 1 Samuel 10:19 - 2419 And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.
20 And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken.
21 When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found.
22 Therefore they enquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold he hath hid himself among the stuff.
23 And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.
24 And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.
. Samuel then wrote down to document for future generations what the people asked for and got, pronouncing a second time that Israel rejected God and instead had chosen a man as king, reminding them he would put them to work and tax their income, 1 Samuel 10:2525 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.
We recall that in the last battle Israel experienced before they had a king God miraculously defeated the enemy with a deafening thunder, 1 Samuel 7:7 - 127 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.
9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him.
10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.
11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar.
12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.
, now it took King Saul leading an army of 330,000 Israelites to defeat the Amorites who had threatened to conquer a group of Israelites at Jabeshgilead, 1 Samuel 11. After this victory Samuel pronounced for a third time that Israel had rejected God as their King, instead wanting a man to rule over them: reminding them that he (Samuel) had served as their last Judge and had not abused or stolen from them; that since the time Joshua led them into their land they had enjoyed victory over their enemies and God's blessings, while they were obedient to God's law, 1 Samuel 12:1 - 131 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.
2 And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.
3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.
4 And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand.
5 And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.
6 And Samuel said unto the people, It is the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
7 Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers.
8 When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.
9 And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
10 And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.
11 And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.
12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.
13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.
. As a sign of the truth of this statement Samuel called for thunder, lightening and rain, this during a season when it never rained, and God brought in on, 1 Samuel 12:16 - 1816 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.
17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.
18 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
. With this third pronouncement and sign the Israelites finally recognized their mistake in rejecting God and wanting a king, and begged not to die for their sin in doing so, 12:19. Samuel assured them God would be with them and their king, -- if they were obedient to His law - 1 Samuel 12:20 - 2520 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;
21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.
22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.
23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.
Saul was endowed with the Spirit of God and began his reign with good intentions but as stated by Machiavelli much later in Renaissance Italy, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" so in spite of his charisma and God's gifts to him, Saul was still of human flesh, which took over. It didn't take long for him to disobey God's will and Samuel announced Saul's failure as king and that God would appoint another to replace him, 1 Samuel 13.
Many years after Samuel and King Saul, Jesus Christ came and, among other things, fulfilled the types of Samuel's witness of faith. He fulfilled God's law in every aspect and was offered to Israel as their Messiah but they rejected Him. Israel then rejected the ministry of the Holy Spirit after Christ ascended into heaven, as recorded in the first part of the book of Acts. But, from His seat in heaven at the right hand of God, the Lord Jesus Christ (who was the fulfillment of the type of Samuel) reached down to earth and appointed another man named Saul, who was also from the Tribe of Benjamin, for a special purpose. This Saul was a devout Jew who, at the time, was going about persecuting those Jews who had followed Jesus Christ, Acts 9:1 - 91 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
. This Saul's name was changed to Paul and for sure he was not chosen by the will of man like King Saul, but by the will of God, 1 & 2 Corinthians 1:11 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
; Galatians 1:11 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
; Ephesians 1:11 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
; Colossians 1:11 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
. Men would not have chosen Saul of Tarsus as a leader for he was small, homely and contemptible in appearance, 1 Corinthians 2:33 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
; 2 Corinthians 10:1 & 101 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.
8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
; 12:9; Ephesians 3:88 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
It should be noted that just as Samuel had proclaimed three different times the mistake Israel had made in rejecting God as their king, the Apostle Paul, after Israel rejected Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, proclaimed three times that he was turning from Israel and going to the Gentiles with the message of grace that God had entrusted to him: 1) Acts 13:4646 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
; 2) 18:6; 3) 28:25 - 28.
The Lord Jesus Christ appointed the Apostle Paul to proclaim God's grace to all who believe, whether Jew or Gentile, the truth of the Body of Christ, Romans 12:55 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
; 1 Corinthians 12:2727 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
; Ephesians 1:2222 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
&23; 3:6, 4:12 - 16, wherein any Jew or Gentile, 1 Corinthians 12:1313 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
, who has believed God's Word, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, over the last 2000 years has been and is a member of Christ's Body with God's promise of blessings in the heavenlies.
Today, we have no king and although some desire a king as did those in Israel many years ago, such a desire is demeaning to the Lord Jesus Christ and our position in Him because the Apostle Paul has told us we are actual members of Christ's Body with a sure hope of being with Him in heaven: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:4 - 94 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
. "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." - Phillipians 3:20 - 21. See also 2 Corinthians 5:1 - 61 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
; Colossians 1:55 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
; 1 Thessalonians 1:1010 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
; 4:16 - 18.